12 Ways Science Can Save The World


Photo: Partha Pratim Saha/Society of Biology

The world faces many problems: disease, hunger, global warming. The solution to many of these challenges depends on science.   This idea is at the centre of a photo competition, now in its third year, held by London’s Society of Biology called “How Biology Can Save The World.” 

The pictures either depict pressing environmental issues, such as the decline of bee populations, or represent innovative solutions, such as using algae to make biofuel.  

Five hundred entries have now been whittled down to a short list of 12.  

The winner will be announced in October and receive a prize of $1,300.  

Preventing the spread of avian flu by spraying disinfectant on birds, chickens and ducks. The photo was taken at a poultry market in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, where 156 people have died from the disease since 2005.

This research facility in the Philippines uses a system that recycles water to grow shrimp. The method will revolutionise seafood production, in turn, helping to solve global hunger.

This photo illustrates the beneficial properties of lichen, a combination of fungus and algae that sucks up pollutants in the air, thereby acting as a natural air quality monitor.

Algae is grown in test tubes at a research laboratory at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Understanding algae that turn carbon dioxide into oxygen can be used to combat climate change.

A photo that shows the cellular structure of a plant embryo demonstrates how genetic analysis can be used to improve farming techniques.

A bee collecting pollen from a flower brings attention to the insect's global plight. Bees, which pollinate food crops of all kinds, provide nearly $200 billion in value to agricultural production worldwide. A mysterious disease known as colony collapse disorder is wreaking havoc on hives around the world.

In Eastern India, deforestation and decreasing rainfall has lowered this river's water level, forcing locals use to less effective hand nets for fishing.

This image of fish eggs from Portugal's endangered dog fish represents efforts to increase numbers through breeding programs.

Rain is the only source of drinking water in this Bangladesh village, which was flooded by salty water during a 2009 cyclone.

Weathering crops in a field just outside of Horsham, UK, illustrate the challenges of extreme weather like drought or heavy rainfall. Genetic engineering can be used to develop crops that can cope with extreme weather.

Seaweed grown in Fujian, China, is being harvested to produce fuel, which has the potential to power lawn mowers, cars or aeroplanes.

Mangrove tree seedlings are prepared for planting at an eco-park in Philippines. Green spaces in cities help purify urban air.

This space-aged edible packaging will also change the world

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